TradeNZ Targets Washington Firms

AUCKLAND (04/28/2000) - Trade New Zealand is asking big-name Washington, D.C. firms to outsource IT work to New Zealand companies and set up R&D centers here.

New Zealand's trade commissioner in New York, Jane Cunliffe, says Trade New Zealand has much work to do in matchmaking suitable New Zealand and U.S. companies but has already started.

"There must be opportunities for software designers, the virtual assistance industry, writing company reports, design and (other). We (New Zealand workers) will be cost competitive," says Cunliffe.

Trade New Zealand officials met with firms in Washington last month, from an area known as the Dulles Corridor -- the East Coast's answer to Silicon Valley.

Now, they are trying to get 30 potential U.S. investors to New Zealand this year and have a trade mission of New Zealand high-tech innovators visiting the corridor.

"The mission is something we are starting now, to try and get (U.S.) firms here, to encourage corporate relocation, call center establishments and corporates starting up and setting up R&D arms (in New Zealand).

"We have had some success already," she says.

Gary Langford, the Auckland-based director of Invest New Zealand, is working with U.S.-based companies in the software development area.

"We were in the Dulles Corridor in early April. It is too soon to expect success now, but we have developed good links in that area.

"We expect people will come to New Zealand from well-known companies. When they do we will put them in touch with people to meet them," he says.

Trade New Zealand says outsourcing is becoming increasingly common in the U.S. and this offers major opportunities for businesses here. The time difference means U.S. firms can send work to be done during New Zealand's work day, which can be sent back in time for the next U.S. working day.

With Silicon Valley becoming too crowded and expensive, Trade New Zealand believes the Dulles Corridor is rapidly becoming the next major breeding ground for high-tech startups and corporates.

The corridor has big names such as SAIC, Cisco, CSC, AT&T, Dynacorp, PRC, Lockheed Martin and AMS.

Situated in Fairfax County, in nearby north-east Virginia, are another 2,200 technology companies, including 148 overseas firms such as Cable & Wireless, British Aerospace, Nissan, Rolls Royce, Siemens and Toyota.

In addition to this high-tech campaign, Trade New Zealand has an established special investor program aimed at attracting overseas companies and investors to New Zealand. Trade New Zealand has also had well-publicized talks with Motorola about potential investment in New Zealand, Langford says.

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